Last Post Before the Philly Show... Wish Us Luck!!

stina1118stina1118 IllinoisPosts: 146
In the fall, I had posted on the Pearl Jam forum a special story near and dear to my heart. I felt nervous, apprehensive and guarded. I worried about judgement, criticism or seen as using my son for my own gain. But, I had held our story in for a long time... And really wanted to share it.
http://community.pearljam.com/discussion/247294/updated-tiny-guy-big-fan-going-to-philly#latest

Of course, we all want our special moment with the band... But, that wasn't my purpose. My son's love for Pearl Jam goes beyond just enjoying the music. In fact, his love for the band may be something that I could never fully understand. He can feel it in a different way than you and I. But, in many ways its the same... It is a part of who he is and one of the only ways he has to express himself. It has been a comfort through tough times, sometimes its the only thing in the world that makes him happy.

Telling his story and sharing a piece of our family story to this community was our way eliminating the isolating feeling that comes with our situation. When we took him to his first show in 2014, we felt like outsiders. A lot of it was our own insecurities, but there were people that glanced at us like we didn't belong. Some people seemed curious and were afraid to ask... And a few special people had the courage to come over and say hi. I can't say that it made me sad, just slightly isolating.

After some time went by, I wanted to ensure that Joshua got to experience the concert experience like we do. To feel included, make new friends and connect with other fans. That led me to the decision to post in the PJ forums and I am so happy I did.

Within a little bit of time, Joshua has developed his own little fan club. As a family, we enjoy every single comment and well wish we receive. Joshua has even been send special gifts from extraordinary people. There's not a word that I can find that can express how that makes us feel. Joshua belongs somewhere, he now has a place in the world that includes him... Here with the PJ community.

One of the "Joshua fan club members" had even submitted his name to Given to Live. Which has led to an amazing gift... An all expense paid trip to Philly to see Pearl Jam, two nights. I cannot even tell you what this experience means for the three of us. We haven't even left yet and this has been quite the ride. I can't wait to see what surprises are in store when we get there.

We have been documenting Joshua's story and upcoming trip on social media, if you would like to learn more... Check out Given to Live on twitter and facebook... And please support this amazing organization.
giventolive.com/

Finally, the purpose of this post...
We are getting really close to the Philly shows and this ride will come to an end. I needed to take a moment and acknowledge Given to Live, Tom and all of the other supporters that have made this happen for us. Also, I want to give a HUGE thank you to each and every person that has supported our story. I am consistently amazed at the love and generosity people have shown us. It may like a simple comment, but those comments mean the world to us. Knowing that Joshua has friends waiting for him in Philly, makes this experience that much more meaningful. We can't wait to give lots of hugs!

I know some of you will be awaiting updates from his trip, I plan on posting here in this thread as well as on social media. I am adding some links below. Thank you for everything Pearl Jam, staff, and the community.

Love,
The Swansons

You Tube Videos: https://youtube.com/user/stina1118/videos
Swanson Family Twitter: pj_jamr

Comments

  • F Me In The BrainF Me In The Brain this knows everybody from other commetsPosts: 10,771
    Good luck, we can't wait to see your family in Philly!
    Rob
    Seattle

    Berkeley 10/31/93,Indio 11/5/93,San Diego 11/7/95,Irvine 6/3/03,LA 7/10/06,Universal City 10/7/09,Long Beach 7/6/11 (EV),Vancouver 9/25/11, Philly 9/2/12,Wrigley 7/19/13,Philly 1 & 2,10/21/13,10/22/13, Cincy 10/1/14, GCF 9/26/15, Philly 1/2 4/28/16, 4/29/16, MSG 1/2 5/1/16, 5/2/16, Fenway2 8/7/16
  • SVRDhand13SVRDhand13 NYCPosts: 23,745
    Have fun- Philly is going to be awesome!
    severed hand thirteen
    2006: Gorge 7/23 2008: Hartford 6/27 Beacon 7/1 2009: Spectrum 10/30-31
    2010: Newark 5/18 MSG 5/20-21 2011: PJ20 9/3-4 2012: Made In America 9/2
    2013: Brooklyn 10/18-19 Philly 10/21-22 Hartford 10/25 2014: ACL10/12 2015: NYC 9/23
    2016: Tampa 4/11 Philly 4/28-29 MSG 5/1-2 Fenway 8/5+7 2017: RRHoF 4/7
    b85be71c-9bfd-431a-92ea-accd2dccc269.jpg
    EV: 8/4-5/2008, 6/21-22/2011
  • hedonisthedonist standing on the edge of foreverPosts: 18,460
    I'm glad you know you're not isolated, but embraced by many.

    From the left coast, my heart will be with some attending the shows; it will be with you and your family as well.
  • Sprunkn7Sprunkn7 Posts: 5,078
    Mind if we see you we stop and say hello?
    This is the first I am reading your story, very very touching :hug:
    Thank you fellow 10 clubber for saving my ass....again!!!
  • IamTomIamTom Posts: 847
    Sprunkn7 said:

    Mind if we see you we stop and say hello?
    This is the first I am reading your story, very very touching :hug: </

    Hi,

    They'd love that :)

    Tom from GTL.

    Given To Live -

    Latest story - Declan at Slipknot is up on the website now at www.giventolive.com along with Kayleigh at Foo Fighters, Tony at Stereophonics and more.

    Inspired by Pearl Jam, making live music dreams come true.
  • hsohihsohi Posts: 981
    All the best.
    London Ontario 2013, Buffalo New York 2013, Lincoln Nebraska 2014, Quebec City 2016
  • SD48277SD48277 Woodstock, NYPosts: 12,035
    Safe travels, and I look forward to seeing you guys in Philly!
    ELITIST FUK
  • wall232wall232 New YorkPosts: 952
    Have fun and safe travels.
    NYPJ
  • Amongst the AniAmongst the Ani @WobbiePosts: 7,693
    I hope Joshua has an experience he will always remember. Have fun and hope to see you two there.
    Tom Brady & Donald Trump, BFF's
    Fuckus rules all
    Rob
    Seattle
  • stina1118stina1118 IllinoisPosts: 146
    edited April 2016
    Can't wait to see you all there!! @Sprunkn7 - yes please!! Say hello to us!! We would love it. @IamTom will be helping us out, so feel free to get in touch with him or the Given to Live Facebook page, while we're in town.

    Thanks again!!!
    Post edited by stina1118 on
  • northerndragonnortherndragon somewhere, nowhere, anywherePosts: 9,336
    So great that you all get to go on this adventure together. I hope to meet you all in Philly, but most importantly have a great time rockin out.
    Anything you lose from being honest
    You never really had to begin with.


    Sometimes it's not the song that makes you emotional it's the people and things that come to your mind when you hear it.
  • stina1118stina1118 IllinoisPosts: 146
    Thanks!! 12 days!!
  • IamTomIamTom Posts: 847
    stina1118 said:

    Thanks!! 12 days!!

    Actually 11 ;)

    Given To Live -

    Latest story - Declan at Slipknot is up on the website now at www.giventolive.com along with Kayleigh at Foo Fighters, Tony at Stereophonics and more.

    Inspired by Pearl Jam, making live music dreams come true.
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